Top 5 Characteristics of Ideal Employees
Characteristics of the Ideal Employee
The following characteristics in employees and management personnel help to ensure a smoothly operating business. In turn, this smooth operation produces larger amounts of higher quality goods and services as well as greater employee satisfaction.
The top characteristics that I have found in demand among employers looking for new workers include the following list. It is derived from employer input gathered during a decade of workforce development, training, and job placement activities in a densely populated 17-county area, among adults and youth job seekers.
- Honesty and Integrity
- Positive, Proactive Attitude
- Willing to Work
- Uses Down Time Productively
Management, executive staff, and corporate HR teams see Dependability defined by the following positive qualities, often discussed in Work Readiness classes:
- Consistently Stable in Mood at Work - The employer, the coworkers, and the customers know what to expect and trust the employee.
- Always Follows Directions - Also willing to learn new tasks, new methods of working, and new company updates and apply them.
- Consistently Accurate
- Works Independently
- Gets Along with Peers, Management, Executive Staff, and Clients or Customers
- Maintains Good Grooming and Hygiene, according to general rules and company policies.
- Always On Time to Work and returns promptly from breaks.
- Maintains Good Attendance - Does not take off all their sick time just because they have unused sick days. Calls in early when ill and in emergencies when needing time off.
- Cooperative, but asks good Questions, and offers Suggestions when appropriate.
- Shows a Proactive and Interested Attitude
- Works as a Team Player
2. Honesty and Integrity
This is more than just telling the truth. It includes doing your best work for your work team, your company and your boss. Holding back because one is afraid of working more than others and not be rewarded for it is an immature belief; such an employee needs to sit down with the supervisor or boss and ask about the chances for advancement and raises and how to accomplish them.
The action of doing as little as possible while others make up the difference is not a likeable personality trait at work, at home, or anywhere else. Remember that many founding colonies and new nations began by leaders telling their settlers, "He who does not work, does not eat." Such an employee will make enemies of coworkers and also not be promoted. In addition, this negative trait will definitely show up as a problem on annual performance reviews.
Examples of dishonesty and lack of integrity:
- Working more slowly than the standard pace.
- Working quickly and haphazardly, creating errors.
- Doing coworkers' work for them in order to buy friendship.
- Having coworkers clock in for them when late. This is usually illegal as well.
- Pilfering work-related supplies and equipment.
- Extending breaks and rest room visits to waste time.
- Completing personal tasks on the job, using company equipment and supplies, including the telephone and Internet.
3. Proactive, Positive Attitude
Attitudes project your beliefs and values, and what you think of your job, coworkers and boss. It is shown in the quality of your work. The boss is aware of your individual attitudes at work and is watching them every day. They are as important as the work that you produce.
A "positive" attitude does not always mean "happy" - but, it is better to be upbeat at work rather than brooding and angry, "Positive" can also mean proactive, which means you go after things and don't wait for them to come to you (using initiative).
Proactive: Good Attitudes
- Good posture
- Pleasant tone of voice
- Complaining through proper channels, while offering ideas for improvement.
- Respect and courtesy
- Managing conflict and anger
- Good job performance
- Interested in others
Not Proactive: Bad Attitudes
- Blank facial expression or a frown
- Slumping in chairs, leaning on walls
- Sarcasm, unmodulated voice, mumbling
- Complaining on the work floor
- Trash talking about the company to coworkers; enabling bad attitudes among others
- Displaying anger inappropriately
- Substandard job performance
- Ignoring people at work
Good attitudes help get you promoted, make friends, please customers and raise sales. Good attitudes increase your value to your company.
4. Willing to Work
You show your willingness to work with these qualities:
- Ability and Desire to Communicate - Organizing and present your thoughts clearly.
- Intelligence - Showing common sense and the ability and desire to learn.
- Self-Confidence - Showing assertiveness and initiative.
- Accepting Responsibility - Takes on new challenges, admits mistakes and fixes them.
- Leadership - Being a good example, taking charge.
- High Energy Level.
- Flexibility - Adaptable, accepts changes.
- Gets along with others.
- Handles Conflict
- Sets and Achieves Goals - Continuous improvement. Has personal direction,
- Occupational Skills - Able to do the job and accept new training.
5. Uses Down Time Productively
When you are not busy at work, or between major projects, be productive by doing these things:
- Read trade journals and magazine articles about your company and the industry in which you work.
- Read about current trends in your industry on the Internet.
- Ask for, or find, new tasks to do; help someone else.
- Think of a better way to do something in your job or in the company.
- Clean and organize your work area.
- Update your filing systems, clean out old email messages, etc.
- Write an article about your job or your industry and share it with your boss.
- Take an online class that is relevant to your job. Some of these are free of charge.
What Is Your Best New Strength?
Of the "New" Ideal Employee Qualities, which is your strongest?
Five Great Additional Tips for Hiring in the 2010s
In a nationwide survey with diverse employers in 2013, YahooFinance tells us that the following additional Top 5 Qualities also impress an HR representative or other interviewing staff person enough to help you to be hired over other job candidates:
- Best Sense of Humor
- Most Involved in the Community - Community activities, volunteering, political involvement.
- Best Dressed
- Has Most In Common with the Interviewer
- Most Physically Fit*
*It has also been stated many times by employers and industrial psychologists with whom I have spoken that taller individuals are seen in a more positive light than are shorter individuals during the application process, employment interviews, work reviews, wage and raise negotiations, and opportunities for promotion.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
In your own experience, between the old and new "best qualities" of ideal employees, which do you see as the most important now?
When I hire an employee, I want one that shows up on time and does consistent good work while always looking to improve. He or she should be willing to contribute effective ideas for company and individual growth without being a showoff or smart aleck. They should also have a good sense of humor (without profanity) while keeping good manners.Helpful 10
What is "punctuality" and is the definition the same for workers in all industries?
My state is an at-will employment state, so workers can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. This makes it vital to find out your own employer's or future boss's rules for punctuality. Some companies adhere to "Vince Lombardi Time" started by a famous football coach, meaning 15 minutes early is on time and any later is simply late. I know a handful of companies that require workers to arrive 30 minutes early and check their work stations during that unpaid time. Still, other companies feel that being 15 minutes late to work is fine. Some other employers offer flex time that provides an hour leeway at the start and end of each day, as long as the worker completes a full eight-hour shift. At the end of the workday, some employers will "write up" employees who leave even one minute early. All this makes it important to learn what your own company's rules are.Helpful 1
© 2007 Patty Inglish MS